Photo: NECC art professor Marc Mannheimer with art students Adam Dorgan of Peabody and Jaclyn Marr of Salisbury stand with the blank shoe before they set to work creating an NECC specific design.
A shoe is just a shoe unless of course it is a bench or a work of art, which is just the case with the sculptural shoe that NECC Art Professor Marc Mannheimer and art students Jaclyn Marr of Salisbury and Adam Dorgan of Peabody have designed.
The fiberglass shoe, which is one of a half dozen offered through Team Haverhill’s Soles of Haverhill 2014 Fashion Forward shoe/bench initiative, is being transformed from a large, white replica of a woman’s shoe featuring a bow, buckle, and squashed or Louis heel, into a colorful piece that is sure to promote discussion.
Northern Essex is one of several organizations and institutions partnering with Team Haverhill to sponsor a shoe. Soles of Haverhill is a community celebration of shoe manufacturing & design’s important role in Haverhill’s history, highlighted by the public display of painted shoe sculptures throughout downtown. It is designed to bring Haverhill’s continued renaissance into focus.
The shoes arrived at Rosengard Movers in Bradford two weeks ago. NECC’s shoe, which was funded by the Office of Institutional Advancement, was moved to the ArtSpace in the Bentley Library on the Haverhill campus by the maintenance staff. Mannheimer and the students went right to work discussing their ideas and marking up photos of the shoe. The NECC shoe is a collaborative effort that has culminated in a shoe with a focus on education.
“We wanted to convey the many aspects of all the different disciplines offered at the college,” says Mannheimer. “We combined our ideas and concepts. We were in easy agreement as to the direction of the shoe.”
Painted with an array of acrylic paints, Northern Essex’s school colors of blue and gold are featured prominently yet subtly according to Mannheimer. All academic areas of the college are represented either literally or figuratively.
“This shoe can be interpreted in so many ways…but everything relates in one way or another,” he says.
Once the shoe is completed it will be clear coated and placed in a prominent location on the Haverhill campus. The other shoes will be placed throughout the city.
This is the second shoe art program launched by Team Haverhill. The first was held in 2009. The shoe sculpture form for 2014 was inspired by a shoe in the Buttonwoods Museum collection. The “inspirational” shoe was made by the Hazen B. Goodrich Company for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
The “bench” concept was chosen to allow for greater community interaction with the artwork, and to provide a practical solution to those wanting to rest and take in city sites.
Northern Essex offers an associate degree in general studies: art which provides with the opportunity to focus on fine arts, multi-media, photography, or visual communications. Or give them the foundation they need to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program.